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Xiaofen D. Keating, Ke Zhou, Jingwen Liu, Rulan Shangguan, Yao Fan and Louis Harrison

The purposes of this project were to conduct an overall review of research on preservice physical education (PE) teacher (referred to preservice PE teachers as preservice specialist) and/or preservice elementary teacher (referred to preservice elementary teachers as preservice generalist) PE identities and to identify any new trends in research on the topic. Studies were selected for analysis through searches of databases in English without time limits. In total, 27 articles were identified including 14 data-based studies. The majority of the selected studies (85.7%) employed qualitative methods. Research on the topic was not dominated by any single country. The focus of previous research was centered on determinants of preservice specialists’ PE identity construction such as PE coursework and student teaching. Information about the development and measurement of PE identity among preservice specialists and generalists is still sparse. More research on examining the complexity, nurturing, and reshaping of PE identities is needed.

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John H. Kerr and Pippa Grange

This case study examined interpersonal communication in sport in the form of verbal aggression among elite athletes in the Australian Football League (AFL). It focused on the experience and motivation of athletes who use athlete-to-athlete verbal aggression and the responses of athletes who have been the targets of verbal aggression during games. In addition, the reasons athletes have for not engaging in verbal aggression were also examined. Purposive sampling procedures produced a select sample of elite male athletes known for their aggressive approach to playing Australian football. Qualitative methods and deductive analysis procedures, informed by J.H. Kerr’s categories of sport aggression, were used to interpret the interview data. Meaningful insights into verbal aggression in the AFL were obtained. Based on the underlying motivation, interview transcript descriptions of incidents were identified as examples of power, thrill, and anger verbal aggression.

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Jonathan R. Males, John H. Kerr, Joanne Thatcher and Emma Bellew

The present study investigated the psychological experiences of elite athletes in a team that failed using qualitative methods informed by reversal theory. Five athletes, from a national men’s volleyball team, playing in a European tournament completed a post-game review after each of 6 games. After the tournament, each player took part in in-depth semi-structured interviews, prompted by their post-game reviews. The results indicated that unrealistic expectations, poor team motivation, a negative coaching style, and faulty team process around game performance played an important role in the failure of this team. Also, inappropriate metamotivational states and state reversals were found to have had a negative impact on team performance. Several consultant recommendations for enhancing team motivation and functioning are identified.

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Denise M. Hill, Nic Matthews and Ruth Senior

This study used qualitative methods to explore the stressors, appraisal mechanism, emotional response, and effective/ineffective coping strategies experienced by elite rugby union referees during pressurized performances. Participants included seven male rugby union referees from the United Kingdom (Mage = 27.85, SD = 4.56) who had been officiating as full-time professionals for between 1 and 16 years (M = 4.85, SD = 5.42). Data revealed that the referees encountered a number of stressors, which were appraised initially as a ‘threat’, and elicited negatively-toned emotions. The referees were able to maintain performance standards under pressure by adopting proactive, problem- and emotion-focused coping strategies which managed effectively the stressors and their emotions. However, the use of avoidance-coping, reactive control, and informal impression management were perceived as ineffective coping strategies, and associated with poor performance and choking. Recommendations are offered to inform the psychological skills training of rugby union referees.

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Paul M. Wright and Suzanne Burton

Underserved youth are at risk for numerous threats to their physical and psychological well-being. To navigate the challenges they face, they need a variety of positive life skills. This study systematically explored the implementation and short-term outcomes of a responsibility-based physical activity program that was integrated into an intact high school physical education class. Qualitative methods, drawing on multiple data sources, were used to evaluate a 20-lesson teaching personal and social responsibility (TPSR) program. Participants were 23 African American students in an urban high school. Five themes characterized the program: (a) establishing a relevant curriculum, (b) navigating barriers, (c) practicing life skills, (d) seeing the potential for transfer, and (e) creating a valued program. Findings extend the empirical literature related to TPSR and, more generally, physical activity programs designed to promote life skills. Implications for practitioners are discussed.

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Denise M. Hill, Sheldon Hanton, Nic Matthews and Scott Fleming

The study examined the effect of an evidence-based intervention on choking in golf. It is informed by the work of Hill, Hanton, Matthews and Fleming (2010a) that explored the experiences of elite golfers who either choked or excelled under pressure. The perceptions of elite golf coaches who worked with both ‘chokers’ and those who excelled, were also considered. It revealed that choking may be alleviated through the use of process goals, cognitive restructuring, imagery, simulated training and a pre/postshot routine. The present study incorporated each strategy into an intervention that was introduced to two professional golfers (aged 22) who choked under pressure regularly. Through an action research framework the impact of the intervention was evaluated over a ten month period via qualitative methods. The results indicated the intervention alleviated the participants’ choking episodes and so provides information that can be of use to practitioners working with golfers who choke.

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Kathy Babiak

Interorganizational relationships have become increasingly important for sport organizations. The purpose of this study was to explore the determinants and conditions of partnership formation in a group of collaborating nonprofit, public, and private organizations. A conceptual framework that includes the determinants of legitimacy, stability, necessity, asymmetry, reciprocity, and efficiency were used. Conditions including interdependence and presence of an interpersonal network were also explored. This research employed qualitative methods to examine partners’ reasons for developing interorganizational relationships in a sport context. For the collaborating organizations, the determinants of legitimacy, stability, reciprocity, and efficiency prevailed as important motives for relationship formation. These findings help to refine and apply contemporary theory to sport management and can be used to help manage interorganizational relationships.

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Rylee Dionigi

The number of older athletes is growing with the aging of populations across the developed world. This article reviews studies from a variety of disciplines that focus specifically on the motives and experiences of older adults competing in physically demanding sports at events such as masters and veterans competitions in Australia or the Senior Olympics in North America. It is shown that the majority of research into this phenomenon has taken a quantitative approach or failed to consider older athletes’ experiences in the context of broader sociocultural discourses. Therefore, using the author’s research into the experiences of older Australian masters athletes as a catalyst, the need for and strength of sociological qualitative research in this area is discussed. The use of qualitative methods, such as in-depth interviews and observations, and interpretive analysis provided alternative ways of making sense of older adults and their relationship with competitive sport to what is typically found in the sport and aging literature.

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Denise M. Hill, Sheldon Hanton, Nic Matthews and Scott Fleming

This study explores the antecedents, mechanisms, influencing variables, and consequences of choking in sport and identifies interventions that may alleviate choking. Through the use of qualitative methods, the experiences of six elite golfers who choked frequently under pressure were examined and compared with five elite golfers who excelled frequently under pressure. The perspectives of four coaches who had worked extensively with elite golfers who had choked and excelled, were also considered. The study indicated that the participants choked as a result of distraction, which was caused by various stressors. Self-confidence, preparation, and perfectionism were identified as key influencing variables of the participants’ choking episodes, and the consequence of choking was a significant drop in performance that affected negatively future performances. Process goals, cognitive restructuring, imagery, simulated training, and a pre/postshot routine were perceived as interventions that may possibly prevent choking.

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Risto Marttinen, Dillon Landi, Ray N. Fredrick III and Stephen Silverman

Purpose: To explore teachers’ perceptions of incorporating digital technologies in physical education (PE) and how they influenced pedagogical practices. Method: Data were collected using qualitative methods (interviews, observations, and artifacts) and were analyzed using a grounded theory approach. Results: Teachers integrated wearable digital technologies in ways they thought would augment their PE programs, not replace them. It also was found that teachers’ ideologies of PE shaped the way they implemented wearable digital technologies. Finally, the material circumstances of schools affected the ways in which wearable digital technologies could be implemented in PE. Conclusion: Teachers were willing to integrate wearable digital technologies if they augmented (and did not replace) their preferred purpose of PE. Given this, ideologies of teachers influenced the role that technologies played in teaching and learning in PE.